encourage-compromise    Encouragement might look different for each of us. I know that it will likely always be one of those mysteries… We can’t actually see it, or touch it, yet we feel it and crave it- therefore knowing it is real.

Since March of 2012 I have been on a journey that has led me through my darkest hours. I’ve been deep within the trenches of darkness and depression at times, and I have contemplated the long hike up the hill towards hopeful optimism at others. The last year has been better than the previous, but only because the bad details were different. There has been a lot of isolation and aloneness, which I honestly don’t like. The first year found my husband and I purging our lives of relationships which were not healthy for our family. We had sort of known for a while, because of how they made us feel, but due to the circumstances that year brought along, our eyes were finally opened to the way those people viewed and treated our kids (as well as us) and we just couldn’t stand it any longer. It was easier than we would have thought, though admittedly, it was sad that it took us so long to see it.

This past year though, was different. An unexpected job change had us relocating to the other side of the country again and frankly, I wasn’t at all interested in leaving my friends. I have a core group of friends that I love and adore and being close to them (geographically) had become (what felt like) vitally important. And yet, here I was, thousands of miles away. Already struggling with depression and things just seemed to go from bad, to worse, (to worse.) Other friendships I had struggled to maintain, mostly one-sided, really took their toll on me and suddenly living in what felt like complete isolation altered my perception and opened my eyes yet again. The growing, it’s not comfortable or pleasant but it’s necessary and on this side of it, I am so grateful. Through the process I’ve learned so much about friendship, and about being a friend… And about encouragement…

Like I mentioned before, maybe it looks different for each of us. Maybe there are those of us who are content with a greeting card variety of some one else penned phrases and little genuine effort. I am not that person. The most encouraging thing someone can do for me is make an effort in my life. {The opposite is true too though, the most discouraging and hurtful thing is to disrespect me by ignoring/dismissing me.} The biggest thing I’ve learned however, is that I am my MOST encouraged by being an encouragement to others. I let the light into my darkness most, by intentionally being a light to others. Maybe it’s supposed to be that way… Maybe it isn’t. Maybe I’m weird, maybe I’m a slow learner. I don’t know… All I know is that this recent process in my life kiln, these past two years have shown me that I am my most encouraged when I simply love others actively, genuinely and intentionally…


{Image credit}

10 thoughts on “en-cour-age…

  1. Good morning from your [in}courage neighbor. What can I say except I love what you’ve written and the way you’ve written it. It strikes a chord in me somewhere deep. And I’m hoping that the sharing of your heart-struggles with pen and ink will encourage your own heart … and give you great hope for a future that shines.

    Blessings …

  2. So good to connect with you via incourage! Thank you for sharing your story. I have also found that encouragement that I pour out almost always comes right back to my heart. So true! I think you are so brave to stand strong through a move away from friends and continue to share about your journey. Praying for you today sweet sister.

  3. I love how you are so able to share your heart with us. You are a true talent in the writing field….keep that up; I’m certain just writing it out helps in the healing process.
    Wishing you all the best. XO

  4. Amen! I am sorry that the past few years have been so tough but I am so glad that you are able to share your experience for that alone will bring encouragement to others! I agree… the best way to feel encouraged is when you see encouragement working through you, partnering up with God to be a blessing and to love as He leads! (Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog this morning!)

    Visiting from Incourage.me!

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